We begin to get a real feel for the college football season by weeks three and four. Clearly four teams are top drawer teams right now: USC, LSU, Florida and Oklahoma. The neat thing about this game is four or five more games will sort this out even more. Pretenders like Louisville were stunned on Saturday. Others in the second ten were defeated. The pile of quality teams is sorting itself out even after three games.
It seems that USC is truly loaded and better than ever after they crushed Nebraska in Lincoln. Their coach is a class act and their program is filled with so much talent and true team discipline. LSU is very good too but I wish their coach should stop mouthing off so much about the SEC, which most agree is still the best conference. (It appears to me that the SEC is not as good this year as some thought it would be since Auburn and Tennessee are huge disappointments so far.) Florida plainly has a great young quarterback in Tim Tebow that can only get better and better with time. Could Tebow win the Heisman Trophy in his first season as the starter? And Oklahoma seems to be for real again. (Texas is very suspect from all appearances and I expect Oklahoma will expose that big time in a few weeks.) What I love about this great game is that the best have to do this week-in and week-out without a playoff system. You just can’t afford to stumble at all. The margin for error is really small. The fans love it and the coaches make a real difference at this level since the best of them are truly great teachers of young men. This is one of a dozen reasons why I love this college game so much and why I just don’t have the same joy for the NFL.
Alabama is not all the way back but they are on the way. Their last second win over Arkansas was one for the ages. Saban is already making a real difference at the Capstone. If he wins eight or nine games and beats Auburn then every Bama fan will have high hopes that the Tide can only improve even more in 2008 and beyond. (This guy was even recruiting on the post-game interview by talking about the great atmosphere in Tuscaloosa for great players!) Their defense is very young and got pushed around by Arkansas tonight but they played the best two-minutes of offense down the stretch that a young team could play with the game on the line. I was stunned by this win, coming with only eight seconds to go after a total meltdown where they gave up 28 points in a little over ten minutes. I really enjoyed the pleasure even more since my dear friend Andrew Sandlin was in my home rooting with me. This was a sweet day.